May 2012

The caution of wild things. Male and female cardinal taking turns bathing in the stream. The chipmunk rising furtively to its hind legs.

Cool and clear; mist rising off the trees. From around the corner of the house, the zoom and chatter of a hummingbird’s courtship flight.

It’s not too hot to fight: a robin drives a chipmunk from the lilac. A minute later, a flicker drives a downy woodpecker off its den tree.

Hot and humid. A lone 17-year cicada’s uncanny call. Where last night a drunk intruder stumbled in the weeds, a cloud of gnats, hovering.

At first light, the sound of deer running through the woods: the crash of hooves, the swish of blossom-heavy branches of mountain laurel.

A slight breeze brings a shower of petals from the tulip tree, while a squirrel at the top of the black walnut makes it rain catkins.

A black leaf-footed bug squats head-down on a porch post. Two silver-spotted skippers circle and chase, eponymous spots glinting in the sun.